Rugby is a multi-faceted sport requiring a high degree of all-round fitness, this is applicable to every form of the sport, but to none more than rugby sevens. 7s requires a whole different level of conditioning compared to the 15-a-side game as although the games last less than 20 minutes they are still played on a full-sized pitch but with less than half as many players. It is therefore essential that every player on the pitch is able to continue running for the entire duration, often at full speed as there is nowhere to hide unlike in larger versions of the game.
The training and conditioning for sevens players is therefore quite different to that of other rugby players. Sevens players are still expected to be strong but there is much more of a focus on speed, agility and stamina as they are unlikely to come across any lumbering forwards. Their training regimes must therefore look to focus on not just continued development of their stamina but also their ability to continue playing flat out in extended bursts. Anyone looking to enter into the world of sevens should therefore be looking at incorporating some form of HIIT (high intensity interval training) into their workouts.
A great workout I came across whilst wading through most of the usual fitness spiel on the internet was the M100 workout. I’m sure it comes in many forms and probably has multiple names but the basis of the concept is to perform ten reps of three different exercises three times over plus one extra set of ten of your choice, therefore meaning by the end you have performed 100 reps in a short burst of time. The beauty of this workout is that it is not only going to improve your fitness but the movements involved mimic a lot of the movements involved in a sevens rugby match.
The first exercise to complete is the burpee as demonstrated in the video below. This exercise mimics not only getting up quickly from the floor after a tackle or ruck but also jumping to claim a ball out of the air.
The next exercise to complete is the mountain climber again demonstrated below. The exercise is great for building strength to compete on your feet at the breakdown whilst also developing all round body conditioning.
The final exercise to complete is the squat jump (again demo is below). Again this exercise will help improve jumping strength and technique whilst also working on the muscles that will provide you with explosive acceleration during games.
The full workout should look something like this;
3x 10 Burpees per set
3x 10 Mountain Climbers per set
3x 10 Squat Jumps per set
1x Chose one last exercise and do it.
If you’re just starting out then the full 100 reps may seem quite daunting but try to break the workout down into smaller sets ith breaks in between. Try doing the first 30 reps and take a quick break, then repeat three more times until you complete the full workout. Give it a go and let us know how you get on.